The killdeers seem to be missing lately at the lake. When I arrived, M2 was not in his territory, but he has been really good at disappearing even when he's actually there. He stays very quiet and stands very still. Sometimes he loses his nerves and calls out, but only if you get really close or if you are walking a dog.
Little Male was a lot calmer today as there were no other killdeers in his territory. No sign of anyone in the M8 territory, though I did see and hear a killdeer flying over that area from the north and the main part of Mission Trails Park where there were several killdeer hatched earlier that year. I think the killdeer was M2 as he headed back towards his territory. Perhaps F3 is over in that area hatching more chicks. M2 was back in his "home" when I left.
In the M4 territory, I heard a very weak raspy call that might have been M4 himself, but I saw no sign of him. He, too, has learned the "stay still and quiet and they won't notice me" trick that M2 has nearly mastered (not that M4 could really make much noise, anyway). I assume he's well as I saw no killdeer bodies in that area.
More ducklings, including one that went over from his hatching area all the way across the lake on his own with fish jumping up all around him. A friendly female (probably another female that is expecting her own brood or had just lost a brood) tried to coax him back, but he was afraid of her and kept running the wrong way. The friendly female stayed with him until he reached the other side. After a few minutes, mom began calling him from across the lake. She called for over a half hour before she was reunited. Then, she proceeded to give the little duckling a "lecture" on the sound of her voice and staying by her side.
The other small ducklings are doing fine, none have been eaten yet. I did see a four-five week old duckling getting some feed from the people who feed the ducks in that area. I think he was one that hatched around the beginning of June who almost got trampled on by him mom who was being chased around by a drake the day he was hatched. I saw him at 10 days old, but haven't seen him for a while.
I think I saw some other almost grown ducklings today, too, perhaps the drama ducklings that I "saved" over a month ago.
The three "fish food" ducklings are three weeks old now and are growing fast! I wish they weren't attacked so much by the coots. But, no harm seems to be done.
Podcast #225 Senior Passes and the Border Wall
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